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Millwood updates: Cost to license pets to increase sharply

The Millwood City Council approved an interlocal agreement with Spokane County for animal control services at its Tuesday meeting.

The agreement gives the county control of selling Millwood’s pet licenses for the first time.

License rates will more than double for Millwood residents. Spayed or neutered dogs now cost $25; unaltered dogs are $50. Spayed or neutered cats are now $15; unaltered cats are $25.

City Treasurer Debbie Matkin said the city was subsidizing license fees to encourage residents to register their pets.

“We were always paying those rates,” Matkin said of the county rates. “But we were paying them out of tax money rather than the individual pet owner paying the fee.”

Millwood will pay Spokane County $6,855 a year for animal control. The city’s cost will not rise for the next three years.

City Attorney Brian Werst said the city had requested “a most favored nation clause” in the agreement. The clause would have given Millwood any privilege that was extended to another jurisdiction.

“To the extent any other jurisdiction within the Spokane County Animal Control Protection Service system gets a better deal, whether it’s financial, service or otherwise, we want that deal,” Werst said.

The county rejected the clause because smaller jurisdictions are not being asked to help repay the underlying debt for the new animal control facility.

“It is not anticipated that we would be called upon to do that in the future,” Werst said.

Werst said city staff hope to incorporate a citizen’s advisory committee when negotiating the next agreement.

“Just something to give the smaller cities a voice,” Werst said. “Not really tell them what to do, but assist in how they deliver services.”

The council repealed all previous regulations relating to animal control.

In other council news, Mayor Kevin Freeman noted a project status report sent from Necia Maiani, of Welch Comer. The written report concerns the Buckeye waterlineand a fiber optic line that was discovered above the existing waterline. The fiber optic line will complicate installation of the new water main, Maiani said. Options are being discussed on how to tackle the project and limit damage to the fiber optic line.

The project is tentatively planned to go out for bid in March. The Buckeye sidewalk project is scheduled to go out for bid in February.

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